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Students and staff took to the race lines on Wednesday 15 May for the 39th Great Court Race.

One of UQ’s proudest traditions, the race sees competitors run 636m around UQ’s heritage-listed Great Court. In addition to the traditional race, there is a handicapped 70m men’s and women’s sprint race on the Great Court grass.

Headlining the event were the women’s and men’s individual Great Court Races. In an incredible accomplishment for Emma Bible and Riley Niven, they retained their champion titles to win back-to-back in dramatic fashion for the women’s and men’s titles, respectively.

Riley had work to do when he was in fourth position after the first corner of the Great Court.

Riley explained, “When I saw my competitors sprint at the start, I realised I could not match that speed, but I knew I could hold my pace and hopefully burn them out at the last corner. 1500m is my usual distance, which transfers nicely to the unique 636m Great Court Race distance.”

Riley and Emma both represented UQ at UniSport Athletics Nationals two weeks before this event and have been training together in the build-up to the 2024 Great Court Race.

“It feels good to win together like a team, because we train together weekly. I see a bigger crowd at this race than some National Athletics events, which makes this whole event feel so special” Riley said.

Emma said “I love that Olympians have won this event in the past and I get to have my name next to theirs on this trophy.”

The UQ Sport Elite Athlete Program was proudly showcased with Kiera Bascombe and Andrew Clare winning the 70m sprints in the women’s and men’s events, respectively.

Kiera is traditionally a competitive Surf Life Saving athlete and showed great confidence, powering ahead to win the women’s event with a time of 8.90s. Andrew won the men’s event for the first time after narrowly missing out previously, with a time of 7.65s. 

The UQ Mixed Staff Relay saw the UniQuest team win for the first time with a time of 1.34.22s.

In the battle of the UQ Clubs, the UQ Engineering Undergraduate Society team scarcely beat the previous winners, the UQ Social Runners Club in the Mixed Clubs Relay.

The atmosphere peaked as large crowds gathered for the UQ College Relays in both the women’s and men’s races. King’s College won the women’s relay with an impressive time of 1.31.10s. In the men’s race, Emmanuel College continued its winning streak, with a record five consecutive wins (’19, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’24 – no race in ’20 due to COVID) for the college with a time of 1.17.95s.

Thank you to the participants, spectators, special guests and staff who were involved in making the 2024 Great Course Race such a wonderful event.

View the full results of the 2024 Great Court Race and the historic winners database.